Just as your IT teams use a single source of truth in structuring information models so that every data element is only stored and in one place, the same theory is used in internal communications best practices. All other locations of communications are for reference only and should lead back to the primary location (your SSOT).
That one word is enough to give any employer or employee a minor heart attack. Miscommunication causes all kinds of problems, and yet it happens so often in the workplace. One reason for that we have so many tools available. Yes, you read that right. It is the multiplicity of communications tools and data logs that makes it so easy to create a hot mess when you meant to create an exciting project. The truth is that when you are using Outlook, your manager is using Google Docs, and Deborah down the hall is using who-knows-what, miscommunication happens pretty easily. So take a moment and ask yourself what would happen if there was just one source for storing communications, for giving instructions, for compiling ideas, and for communicating with each other? Here at IC Thrive, we like to call in the single source of truth. And here are 7 reasons why every company needs one.
Nobody wants to spend an hour searching their inbox for that one email they really need. Or going back and forth between Google Sheets and Excel because they can’t remember where they stored their data. Or searching for a document in OneDrive when it was sent to them via Dropbox. And the list could go on and on. The time cost wasted jumping back and forth between multiple programs and databases is immense. Not only does it hurt the company but it is also simply frustrating for employees and managers alike. Imagine there was one place where the most updated company or team information lived.
Searching through tons of different files to find what you are looking for, trying to learn how to use multiple programs at the same time, transferring files endlessly from one program to another… All these things are unnecessary processes that cause immense amounts of stress. Not only do they take valuable time away from work, but they also create high-risk situations. Documents can be lost or corrupted; employees can miss out on important information… With a single source of truth acting as your document management system the files and information you and your staff need to do their job is readily available.
Have you ever been in a situation where everyone knew a certain piece of information – except you? That can be awkward, right? But in the office, it can be more than just awkward. Don’t put yourself in that kind of situation! Having one master source for all information and communication ensures that nothing gets lost. It keeps everyone up to speed on how things are going and what needs to happen next. Whew! Awkwardness avoided!
This is closely related to number 3 but moves from knowing to acting. If you have multiple programs in play, employees and managers end up talking past each other, and nothing actually gets done. When you have one source of truth, however, information and instructions are clear and accessible. Each employee can figure out what he or she needs to do to keep the ball rolling. No one is left by the wayside. No one is allowed to be a slacker, and your employee retention rates skyrocket. Your one-stop-shop for all employees keeps everything running smoothly.
If you get a new job, you want to make a good impression right off the bat, right? Yeah, that’s normally the way things work. But what if you are confronted with a million different sources of information, and expected to keep track of all them, not to mention know how to use all of them? Game over right there. Wouldn’t it be better if you just had to access one source? That would make employee onboarding so much easier and so much more effective.
Teamwork is built on trust. So, if you want your employees or coworkers to be able to work together, they must trust each other. And that is awfully hard to do when each person has his or her own favorite program and refuses to acknowledge anything else. A single source of truth gives visibility to each other’s work, as well as the work you and your team do to the rest of the company. Own it, be proud and be visible. That kind of accountability is just one way to build trust.
Last but not least, a single source of truth will give your workplace a better vibe all around. The stress-free environment allows employees’ minds to stay healthy, engaged, and efficient. Interpersonal relationships will flow more smoothly as the potential for mistakes decreases. Managers and employees will be able to understand each other better. Less busy work will make for more real work. Employees and employers alike can finally feel the satisfaction of getting something done together. And that kind of satisfaction is priceless.
By this time, you a probably wondering what kind of program this all-encompassing, problem-solving single source of truth should be. And here at IC Thrive, we have the answer. Welcome (and you’re welcome) to intranet heaven! If you have any questions, contact us. We are all about making the workplace an easier, happier place to be.